Backgr Notes Ser. 1989 Jan;1-4.


PIP: Focus in this discussion of Liechtenstein is on the following: geography; the people; history; government and political conditions; the economy; foreign relations; and relations between Liechtenstein and the US. In 1988, Liechtenstein's population numbered 27,825 with an annual growth rate of 0.89%. The infant mortality rate is 6.3/1000; life expectancy is 71 years for men and 76 years for women. The population is homogeneous, stemming almost totally from a Germanic tribe, the Alemanni. The official language is German, yet most of the population speaks Alemannic, a German dialect similar to that used in eastern Switzerland. Liechtenstein has been permanently inhabited since the Neolithic Age. The Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein was established in 1719 and has been politically independent since 1815 but did join a customs union with the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1852. It abrogated this treaty with Austria in 1919. The principality remained neutral in both World Wars. The Principality of Liechtenstein is a hereditary constitutional monarchy. The prince is head of the House of Liechtenstein and chief of state; all legislation must have his concurrence. He also is empowered to dissolve the parliament. Traditional popular loyalty to the monarch has assured the stability of the constitutional system. During the last 3 decades, Liechtenstein has developed from a primarily agricultural to a highly industrialized principality. It now has more than 50 factories, producing a wide range of highly specialized articles, especially in small machinery. The domestic labor force of 7490 is highly skilled, yet its size is inadequate for an industrial economy. Consequently, about 9631 foreign workers (1985 figures) are employed in Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein has a market economy, and its banks form an increasingly important part of its economy. The US has no diplomatic or consular mission in Liechtenstein.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Americas
  • Commerce
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Demography*
  • Developed Countries
  • Economics*
  • Europe
  • Geography*
  • Industry
  • Infant Mortality
  • Liechtenstein
  • Life Expectancy
  • Longevity
  • Mortality
  • North America
  • Political Systems*
  • Politics*
  • Population Characteristics
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics
  • Population Growth
  • Population*
  • Social Planning*
  • United States